Growing List of Children’s Books about Fungi

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Fungi are a mysterious and misjudged group.  What better way to learn about them than by reading a children’s book?

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Note:  Books are organized by reading age from youngest to oldest.

We Are Fungi by Christine Nishiyama

This unusual picture book tells two stories side-by-side. The text is pretty much standard informational nonfiction, while the illustrations present a fictional young girl on a fungal adventure. Toward the end, the illustrations take a dark turn into fantasy. At the same time, the text presents conflicting attributes about fungi in a way that may be confusing to little ones.

“We are kind and polite, and we are friends of the trees.
We are selfish and rude, and we are enemies of the trees.”

We are Fungi fills a niche of books for the youngest readers, but would be best read with an adult who can answer any questions it raises.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 3 – 6 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ We Are Fungi (September 12, 2017)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0999403907
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0999403907

Mushroom Rain by Laura K. Zimmermann and illustrated by Jamie Green

With gorgeous illustrations, Mushroom Rain introduces young readers to the the basics of mushrooms.

Back matter includes a glossary, additional mushroom facts, and a science activity.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Sleeping Bear Pr (March 15, 2022)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1534111506
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1534111509

Fungus is Among Us! by Joy Keller and illustrated by Erica Salcedo

The rhyming text will appeal to the youngest reader. The detailed information and interview with a real mycologist (fungus scientist) will engage older readers.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 10 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ The Innovation Press (September 24, 2019)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1943147647
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1943147649

 

Humongous Fungus by Lynne Boddy and illustrated by Wenjia Tang

Mushrooms come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. They carpet the forest floor, and hidden fungi decompose matter, feed plants, and affect how animals function by turning ants and flies into zombies.

For slightly older readers, and written from a UK perspective.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 7 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ DK Children (August 17, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0744033330
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0744033335

Middle Grade

Funky Fungi: 30 Activities for Exploring Molds, Mushrooms, Lichens, and More by Alisha Gabriel and Sue Heavenrich

 

Although the suggested reading age is 7-9, this book is appropriate for middle grade on up to adult. Educators will love it.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 7 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chicago Review Press (June 21, 2022)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1641605774
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1641605779

The Mushroom Fan Club by Elise Gravel

Author-illustrator Elise Gravel is takes a whimsical look at one of her family’s most beloved pastimes: mushroom hunting. As with We Are Fungi above, the nonfiction is tinged with fictional elements, as you can see by the fact the mushrooms all have eyes in the illustrations. .

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 6 years and up
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Drawn and Quarterly; Illustrated edition (May 8, 2018)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1770463224
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1770463226

Fungarium: Welcome to the Museum by Ester Gaya and illustrated by Katie Scott

 

This video shows an overview of the book as the presenter leafs through the pages to music. Gives you an idea of the topics and illustrations. The well-organized sections make a great example of browseable nonfiction.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 – 12 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Big Picture Press; Illustrated edition (April 6, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1536217093
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1536217094

Molds, Mushrooms & Other Fungi by Steve Parker

 

Steve Parker gives an overview of the different types of fungi and tells what isn’t considered to be a fungus. Did you know a slime mold is not a true fungus? He explains how diverse fungi such as molds, yeast and mushrooms feed, how they reproduce, and how they are useful. He also reveals many of their mysteries.

f you like a book with brilliant color photographs, then you are going to love this one. Starting with the eye-catching bright red toadstool on the front cover, every page is beautifully laid out and visually appealing. Each photo makes you stop and ponder, there will be no leafing through this one. The section on “Tasty Fungi” looks good enough to eat.

Part of the Kingdom Classification series, this is a timely book because it also contains the most up-to-date information about classification of living things.

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Published: August 15, 2009
ISBN-10: 0756542235
ISBN-13: 978-0756542238

Fiction Picture Book

Mushroom in the Rain: Adapted from the Russian of V. Suteyev by Mirra Ginsburg and illustrated by Jose Aruego

 

Caught out in the rain, an ant takes shelter under a tiny mushroom. Soon, a wet butterfly, then a drenched mouse, a dripping sparrow, and even a rain-soaked rabbit each beg to join him under his miniature umbrella. How can the ant let the others in when there is barely room enough for one? But as the rain comes down and down, they all somehow manage to squeeze together and share the  shelter. How can it be? When the sun finally comes out, the ant discovers a secret of just what happens to mushrooms in the rain!

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 3 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Aladdin Books; 1st edition (April 1, 1997)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0689714416
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0689714412

 

 

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